Carlos Muguiro • Director, Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola

– To mark the beginning of the application period to be part of the fifth promotion of the educational institution, its big boss details some details

carlos mugiro (the screenwriter and editor of On football [+see also:
film review
interview: Sergio Oksman
film profile
) has a long career linked to the audiovisual world, since he was the founder of Punto de Vista and headed the documentary department of ECAM, in addition to holding many other positions. For the past five years, he has served as Director of Elias Querejeta Zine Eskolawhich is based in Tabakalera and has close ties to the San Sebastian Film Festival. On February 1, he opens his application period for participation in the 2022-23 program.

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Cineeuropa: What makes the new course, which starts in a few months, different?
Carlos Mugiro:
The school is part of an ecosystem, that of the Tabakalera, which also houses the Basque Cinematheque, the San Sebastián Film Festival and its own Center for Contemporary Culture. It’s a place where we all share the same passion for cinema and its transmission, which is why we want it to be a physical journey, on site. We foster a community of filmmakers and this year we are also supported by the Ibermedia program, through training support, receiving approximately $60,000 in scholarships for Latin American students. It is a public school, funded by the Foral Deputation of Gipuzkoa, and it is important for us to ensure that it is accessible to all those who wish to learn and be part of our community.

Is it this sense of community that sets it apart from other film schools??
This center was born from the film institutions that I mentioned above, which, when they moved into the renovated building that once housed the tobacco factory, began to think about how to transmit the accumulated experience, how the pass on to new generations. We all live in this building, and we decided to create a film school, not just to make films (by forming a team), but rather to be a complete film school, which questions what is cinema, through subjects that address the past, memory, heritage, legacy, restoration and materiality. The film is also an archive of images and sounds accumulated over the 20and century. Likewise, it is everything that is happening around us at the moment, including the debate on distribution, access and mediation, which is something extremely complex that binds us to the present, and that we also address. And the third part concerns the cinema of the future. Since the establishment of the school, we have thought about how to create a center that would address all these dilemmas and where these three eras of cinema would be in constant dialogue with each other. It’s the hallmark of the school, where filmmakers with new projects rub shoulders, alongside others who want to shed light on films shot 80 years ago and which are deteriorating – ​​but thanks to the work of the restorers, viewers can still access them.

So, these are the three specializations of your school?
EQZE is structured around three departments: archives and curation, curation and programming, and filmmaking. There is a fourth department, focused on research, which does not offer studies as such, but this is where we develop research projects related to the past, present and future of cinema, to which students can also participate. This is yet another engine behind our establishment.

How long does the course last and what stages does it involve?
The course lasts 15-16 months: it begins with the San Sebastián Film Festival and continues until the next edition, thus marking the beginning and end of the academic part. After the second gathering in Donostia, once the courses are finished, the students complete their final work, from any of the specializations we offer, until December or January. It is interesting that students arrive at the first San Sebastián Film Festival as spectators, but at the second, these same students can really get involved: with the works they have created, with professional internships or as filmmakers. Five titles by our students participated in the last edition of the festival, within different sections: a handful of short films and projects in development. The school has set up a procedure to continue supporting these projects after the end of studies. We understand that we are part of a transition process that aims to generate new cinematic realities.

How are the classes?
We welcome 15 people per specialty and our teachers have a lot of experience in the audiovisual world: this allows us to have the necessary flexibility to adapt to each student. The school is designed as a studio, where students can come to work, whether or not there are lessons. All of Tabakalera’s programming, including the library, benefits from facilities and content complemented by EQZE’s academic program.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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